WASHINGTON, DC – Today, following President-elect Joe Biden’s announcement that he will nominate Governor Gina M. Raimondo to be the next Secretary of Commerce, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), Rhode Island’s senior senator and a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS), which oversees the department’s federal spending, offered a strong endorsement for Governor Raimondo.
Gina Raimondo earned an undergraduate degree from Harvard, secured a Rhodes Scholarship, graduated from Yale Law School, and started her own venture capital firm before becoming the first female Governor in Rhode Island’s history, a position she has held since 2015.
The Secretary of Commerce is a presidential cabinet position in charge of a massive and complex organization that comprises 12 separate federal bureaus and agencies. The Commerce Department oversees a variety of U.S. trade and economic development missions touching many sectors of the economy, from manufacturing to fisheries to technology and the National Weather Service, including the: Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA); Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS); U.S. Census Bureau; Economic Development Administration (EDA); Office of the Under Secretary for Economic Affairs (OUS/EA); International Trade Administration (ITA); Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA); National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST); National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); National Technical Information Service (NTIS); National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA); and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The Secretary of Commerce manages more than 40,000 employees and must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
Senator Reed stated:
“I have known Gina Raimondo since she was a baby, so of course I’m a little biased here. But I can unequivocally attest that she is a talented, thoughtful, hard-charging, and effective leader.
“Our nation is facing unprecedented economic strain. In tapping Governor Raimondo for this key post, President-elect Biden has selected someone with the skills and experience to solve pressing economic and trade challenges.
“I am confident in Governor Raimondo’s ability to lead the Commerce Department and help American workers and businesses recover and prosper. She is a dedicated public servant with the management skills, expertise, and leadership to effectively advocate for America’s economic interests and jumpstart job growth.
“Gina Raimondo is someone who carefully studies the issues, is always well-prepared, and has a proven track record of being a pragmatic, progressive problem solver. She is an extremely effective manager who really listens to different perspectives, asks the right questions, and then brings people together to execute. She has demonstrated the ability to forge partnerships to create jobs and expand opportunities.
“As the Governor of the Ocean State, she understands how much climate change is fundamentally reshaping our environment and our economy. She will listen to the science and work with experts to help the Biden Administration confront climate change and enact reforms to make our nation more resilient.
“President-elect Biden’s nomination of Governor Raimondo is an excellent choice. The American people are getting someone who will work 24/7 on their behalf. Commerce Department employees are getting a terrific new boss who will listen to them, support them, lead from the trenches, and get the very best out of them by holding them to the same high standards she holds herself. And Congress will be getting a partner who is an honest broker of unquestioned integrity. She is forthright, transparent, and accountable. She doesn’t sidestep thorny issues or kick the can down the road, but tackles tough challenges head on and has been successful at every step of her career.
“I strongly and unequivocally support her nomination.”